Monday, December 17, 2012

Kimchi (Korean Sauerkraut)

Adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
  • 1 large head napa cabbage (the type of cabbage is important to get the traditional look of kimchi, but you can use green cabbage, if you prefer the sturdiness of the leaves)
  • 1 bunch of spring/green onions
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots (optional)
  • 1/2 cup daikon radish grated
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 Tablespoons whey (this is optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt (add only 2 teaspoons if you use the fish sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon non-MSG added fermented fish sauce (optional, creates a deeper flavor, and does not taste “fishy” after fermenting.)
  • 1/4 cup of Kochukaru (Korean chili pepper powder – look for this in your Asian market)  —- OR —- 1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes (red pepper flakes)
  1. Cut each napa cabbage leaf in half lengthwise and cut into 1 inch pieces (bite-sized). Cut the green/spring onions into thin disks and also use most of the green parts too.
  2. Combine all of the vegetables, the salt and the whey in a large non-reactive bowl. Squeeze the veggies with your hands until juices are released. I usually do this about 10 minutes and it really helps your stress levels.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, fish sauce and chili pepper and combine them well into the vegetable mixture.
  4. Pack the kimchi into quart jars, making sure that there is some liquid above the kimchi (“sealing” it with an extra cabbage leaf on top can help with this).Let sit out on the counter (with or without the lid)* unrefrigerated for 3 days.
  5. After 3 days, refrigerate the kimchi to slow the fermentation process. You can start using it immediately but it gets even better with age.
Another option is to toss the veggies with salt, then mix garlic, ginger, a bit of sesame oil, a bit of rice vinegar, and Korean pepper in a bowl, to make a paste, then spread that over the veggies, and mix well. You could also add fish sauce to this, if you are using it.
*For the results of an at-home experiment  on the  pro-biotic benefit of ferments in 18 different kinds of jars , check out this blog
Best place to get Fido jars for fermenting: Christmas Tree Shoppe in Greenwood 

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